Perception is subjective with results as far-reaching as the unfolding skies above because we rarely keep our opinions to ourselves. We have to deal with it on a daily basis, and if we don’t watch our reaction to others’ views of us, may become victim to its open jaws into an endless pit of living up to who-knows-whose-ideas.
For example, some of the things I’ve heard said to me (or about me) over time with different aspects of my life are that I am stubborn ( I want to do things my way), biased and religiously intolerant (I believe and profess one God), closed (I do things then tell others after), different (I have particular tastes and choices), unstable (I am single and without child), bored (I write), and a bad role model (I don’t support status quo). However, when help is needed or advice heeded with favourable outcome, from the same mouths come; I am misunderstood, wise, kind, generous and loyal.
In comes discernment. Learn and know this friend. She is not a defence mechanism, but a tool that gives you a slice of the speaking party’s pie. It allows you to filter information received through different eyes. Perception lets you know when to listen and not act, or listen and hasten to implement what you’ve learned.
Perception illuminates the path like a vehicle’s headlamps. It tells you where a person is coming from. Humans will always reveal their motives – you just have to watch and listen. It is true that out of the mouth comes what is in the heart (Prov 4:23). Whereas we can’t control what others say to us, what we do with their words is entirely our decision.